‘Misogyny leads to violence’: Sadiq Khan says TV campaign will restore trust in Met Police

·Political Correspondent, Yahoo News UK
·4-min read
Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick and Mayor of London Sadiq Khan speak to the media ahead of a memorial service to remember and celebrate the life of Metropolitan Police Sergeant Matt Ratana at The Royal Military Chapel in Westminster, central London on November 29, 2021. - New Zealand-born Metropolitan Police officer Sergeant Matt Ratana died after he was shot by a handcuffed suspect at the Croydon Custody Centre in south London on September 25. (Photo by Victoria Jones / POOL / AFP) (Photo by VICTORIA JONES/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
The London mayor has said his new, anti-misogyny campaign is part of restoring faith in the Metropolitan police. (Getty Images)

Sadiq Khan has said a new, anti-misogyny campaign launched in London last week is a key way of restoring confidence in the Metropolitan Police.

The London's mayor campaign has the slogan: "Have a word with yourself, have a word with your mates" - with advertisements located at major football clubs, including Arsenal, Chelsea, and Tottenham Hotspur.

"Misogyny does lead to violence, you know," Khan told Yahoo News UK. "What can be sexist behaviour, inappropriate attitudes and probably words, can - you know - very soon if you’d have a spectrum, go towards violence."

Read more: Revealed: Sickening text messages Met Police officers sent joking about rape

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A new, anti-misogyny campaign launched by London mayor Sadiq Khan has the slogan: "Have a word with yourself, have a word with your mates" (YouTube/Mayor's Office London)

Efforts to tackle violence against women and girls has been undermined by a string of controversies surrounding the Met, with Khan acknowledging the campaign is part of the "equation" of building public trust in police officers.

Stark figures show 251 Met officers or staff in the past year alone have faced accusations of sexual assault, harassment or other sexual offences - with a 104% increase in reports made by staff working for the Met.

High-profile cases have created further public anger, with a growing list of harrowing cases in the last 12 months alone.

Last year, Sarah Everard, 33, was murdered after being kidnapped and raped by now former Met police constable Wayne Couzens - who has been sentenced to a whole-life prison term.

Her death shocked the nation, and triggered a national conversation about sexual violence towards women and girls - and put a spotlight on the Met after it emerged Couzens used the guise of an arrest to get her in his car.

Read more: An occasional bad ’un? Three Met Police officers have been jailed in a month

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Advertisements will be located at major football clubs - including Arsenal, Chelsea, and Tottenham Hotspur. (YouTube/Mayor's Office London)

Since then, more shocking stories about the Met police have emerged concerning the conduct of its officers towards women.

The treatment of Bibaa Henry and Nicole Smallman created further public anger, after two Met Police constables took photos of the murdered sisters and shared the images on WhatsApp groups. Both were convicted and sentenced to 33 months in prison.

Elsewhere, it emerged more than 1,000 police officers and staff accused of domestic abuse still serve in the force - with eight out of ten allowed to keep their jobs after the allegations were made.

The force also denied the Met has an institutional culture of misogyny after a report revealed officers had shared messages about assaulting and raping women, as well as the Holocaust and deaths of black babies.

"The commissioner may not agree, the Police Federation may not agree - but we have deep cultural issues in the police service in relation to sexism, misogyny, homophobia, discrimination, racism, and so forth," Khan said.

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 13: A woman is arrested during a vigil for Sarah Everard on Clapham Common on March 13, 2021 in London, United Kingdom. Vigils are being held across the United Kingdom in memory of Sarah Everard. Yesterday, the Police confirmed that the remains of Ms Everard were found in a woodland area in Ashford, a week after she went missing as she walked home from visiting a friend in Clapham. Metropolitan Police Officer Wayne Couzens has been charged with her kidnap and murder. (Photo by Hollie Adams/Getty Images)
The Metropolitan police came under fierce criticism in March 2021 after their aggressive policing of a vigil for Sarah Everard. (Getty Images)

Read more: 'No choice': The scandals which led to Cressida Dick's resignation

"Now, why is that important [to highlight]?" he added.

"It’s not [just] because it’s wrong. But it’s also important because we police by consent; we rely on the members of the public having trust and confidence to report crime."

In an example of the scale of the issue, stark polling shows two-thirds of Londoners believe the Met Police is institutionally sexist.

The issue came to a head in February when the Met police commissioner, Cressida Dick, quit following intense pressure over the scandals surrounding the force.

Khan said change was "urgently required" following her resignation.

"Last week, I made clear to the Metropolitan police commissioner the scale of the change I believe is urgently required to rebuild the trust and confidence of Londoners in the Met and to root out the racism, sexism, homophobia, bullying, discrimination and misogyny that still exists," he said.

Khan added: "It’s clear that the only way to start to deliver the scale of the change required is to have new leadership right at the top of the Metropolitan Police.”

Watch: London mayor Sadiq Khan launches 'Have A Word' campaign

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